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|27 November 2019
We had a small number of walkers (9) but we enjoyed big trees, big views of Mt Macedon and Melbourne and a very rocky decline.
|13 November 2019
Fryers Ridge circuit walk.
It was a pleasant spring day as we left the cars next to the Coliban Main Water Channel and walked into the Fryers Ridge Nature Conservation Reserve. A comfortable near 8 km walk ( we are not sure of the distance covered as three different apps gave three different results at the finish) along well made and marked tracks/roads through typical Goldfields forest. Plenty of native plants and wildflowers to keep everyone interested, including a sighting of a small group of Spider Orchids.
An enjoyable walk ably led by Keith. Thanks
|29 & 30 October 2019 Halls Gap and the Grampians
Monday October 28
For those who arrived on Monday, the adventure started with an Indian Curry dinner. Greg discovered that "medium hot" can be akin to scalp-lifting and Peter found his 1/2 Tandoori chicken to have 2 legs and 2 wings. Some bird!
Tuesday October 29
Very warm summer like weather welcomed 26 walkers as we left from the swimming pool car park at 2.00pm to do a 7.5 km circuit walk, incorporating Clematis Falls, Chatauqua Peak, Bullaces Glen and Wallaby Rock. The walk had plenty of highlights and some climbing challenges. The track rose over 250 metres in elevation. Expertly led by Bryan, members and guests enjoyed the walk variety and the rugged beauty of the Grampians. It set us up to enjoy a refreshing libation or two with dinner that evening.
Wednesday October 30
Hot conditions forecast as 25 walkers (in fact it was 24 walkers, as one got lost driving to the car park and took a while to catch up with the group) left the Wonderland car park to walk/climb to The Pinnacle. An early side trip through the Grand Canyon got everyone used to steps, rock climbs and railings. From there we passed the Cool Chamber and Echo Cave all the while continuing to climb. Through Silent Street and onto rocky ledges and stone steps as we gained altitude and reached The Pinnacle. In between the panting, there were sighs of relief as walkers flopped down against rocks for a well earned break, a little morning tea and some viewing. Our leader, Bryan, after giving us a decent break got us moving towards the Sundial car park, passing the Fallen Giant and Devils Gap. While the toughest climbing challenges were behind us this section of the walk presented different dangers. We covered long stretches of rocky ground with uneven broken rock stepping stones requiring care in feet placement and balance. The total walk was just over 4kms and took 3 hours. Brian made sure there were plenty of scheduled stops. A challenging and very satisfying walk highlighting the rugged beauty of this part of the Grampians. There was one fall, which grazed an arm, bruised a shoulder/back and probably an ego, but fortunately did not stop the walker from completing the walk. Well done Peter. All in all a most enjoyable couple of days.
Thank you Bryan and Julie for the organisation and walk leadership.
|23 October 2019
On a glorious spring day we walked out of the Vaughan Springs Park just after 9.00 am. The circuit walk of 9+kms took in sections of the Goldfields Track, and other connecting tracks within the Castlemaine Diggings Heritage Park. An enjoyable and attractive forest walk, expertly led by Sandra, included some side trips, to the ruins of an historic stone cottage and to Tubal Cain mine Cornish Chimney. There was a degree of wonderment at the leaders skill in including so much uphill work in the circuit. Great walk.
|9 October 2019
Paddy’s Ranges Paddys Ranges near Maryborough is a place we drive past and seldom stop. The group enjoyed the variety of vegetation and the weather was just right for walking.
Thanks Ron and Cheryl for leading the walk.
|25 September 2019 Big Hill Walk
For this walk, we ventured somewhat further north. A most enjoyable walk through open forest between Bendigo No.7 Reservoir and the Crusoe Reservoir. Our leader, Daryl, with lots of local knowledge and enthusiasm, took us cross country to check out the wildlife and birdlife in tree boxes, nests and scat droppings, as well as detouring into the historic mining sites. Thanks Daryl. It was a top walk.
|11 September 2019 Hepburn Walk
Under a clear blue sky and in bright sunshine 21 of our members enjoyed a very pleasant and picturesque walk along the Sailor's Creek valley at Hepburn, from the Blowhole to Tipperary Springs and return. At Bryce's Flat we discussed who the flat was named after, and our resident philosopher Rex explained that it may have been an anglicised Chinese name because during the 1800s "it wasn't Kosher to be Chinese". We stopped for morning tea at Tipperary Springs, then crossed the creek for the return walk. A surprise (or shock) for some was the unexpected appearance of a "nature walker" heading towards us. Nature walkers wear socks, boots and a daypack, and nothing else. Fortunately he used his hands to protect us from seeing things that shouldn't be seen just after eating, however, Les managed a photo of his backside, sorry the back of him as he walked on his way. (A photo is available on request).
Thanks David for leading the walk.
|28 August 2019 Castlemaine Soup Walk
Under cloudy, rain threatening skies we took off from the Car Park in the Botanical Gardens. Heading north, northwest from the gardens we walked past some charming historical properties before coming to Widecombe Lower. We were met by the owner and builder who very kindly gave us rundown on the inspiration, building and material challenges and, the remarkable persistence shown in completing the three buildings. We were given access to the buildings and had a fascinating account of the construction. We continued the walk along roads, tracks and paths in and around the forest before returning to our Botanical Gardens starting/finish point. There we were met by Bryan who took responsibility for presenting us with warm/hot soup, accompanied by bread. It was great to see Kevin and Jillie who had come down to join in. Thank you Jules, Alan and Rex for the organisation and leadership together with Bryan for his camp cooking prowess. Also thanks to the soup and breadmakers. A most enjoyable outing.
|14 August 2019
Cobaw State Forest A cold overcast sky accompanied us as we started the walk in the Cobaw Forest. Care was needed to safely navigate the muddy, badly eroded, sections of track, as we climbed steadily. After leaving the track we enjoyed a good old "bush bash" to the top of the ridge and then along the ridge through the rugged rock strewn landscape. Interesting views from the site of the old fire spotting tower. I am reliably informed the outlook matches the outlook description of Terrible Hollow, the hiding place of Dick Marston and his brother, in Robbery under Arms. It was an enjoyable and challenging day in the forest.
Thank you Brier and Pam for leading and Keith for providing the technology back up for any directional uncertainties.
|31 July 2019
Up and Down Track A gorgeous winter's day in Central Victoria, to tackle the, most aptly named, Up and Down Track. There may have been a chill in the air when we set off from the junction with Green Gully Road, but a couple of climbs later, we were shedding layers of clothing. Keith kept us moving at a solid clip for the 10 km walk through the Upper Loddon State Park. It was a thoroughly enjoyable, slightly longer and more testing, 5th Wednesday of the month walk.
Thanks and a good choice Keith.
|24 July 2019 Walmer Forest
A lovely mild winters day, after the fog lifted, in the Walmer Forest. Pleasant 6 km walk, with dappled sun highlighting early blossoms on Golden Wattles. Hot drinks and freshly made scones at Chez Wiglesworth, to finish. Thanks Bill and Deb, for leading an enjoyable walk and providing a surprise late morning tea.
|10 July 2019 Mt Alexander
21 walkers enjoyed this local walk very close to Castlemaine. After a steep start to the walk, the gradient was very kind on our knee joints. The rays of sunshine provided some warmth on an otherwise cold winter's day. Thanks Tricia and Bryan
|26 June 2019
Tarilta Gorge 10 walkers completed the annual Tarilta Gorge walk. We lost count of the creek crossings. The weather was perfect and we didn’t get lost!
Thanks Greg (aka Tarilta George)
12 June 2019
29 May 2019 Trentham Walk
We cancelled our Greg’s planned walk. Heavy(ish) rain had made the access tracks impassable for sedans and that's all we had. Even Greg was in a little car having put 85 litres of petrol into the diesel Disco. Not a happy camper. So we walked around Kalimna Park and got to the Dove early.
|8 May 2019
Breakneck Gorge to Chocolate Mill. Daylesford What a great day for one of our Classic walks: cold; the smell of misty rain on recently burnt forest; slippery narrow paths; blackberries re-growing as you watched; a would-be participant enjoying a casual drive to Creswick and expecting to meet us at the Chocolate Mill and now expecting to navigate in the rogaine!!; another incurring an automatic four game suspension by deliberately headbutting a car door, taking a dive and then protesting she'd been provoked; and to end the day, everyone enjoying litres of hot chocolate slurped from small baths.
Coliban Channel Taradale.
L.O.L Engineering. Dear Sir/Madam. Sadly your application to construct the water channel between Taradale and Elphinstone has been unsuccessful. Not having your section of the channel connect to either end of the existing water course but instead to instead to go out and back was seen as likely to compromise the fundamental purpose of the project. You might also note that your access instructions led our inspection team to Elsternwick which does sound similar but the scenic detour caused them to be late back to the office and miss our regular knees-up.
(Thanks Lol and Geoff)
10 April 2019
A cold morning and a 9 am start (daylight saving over) saw 28 walkers drive to the Muckleford State Forest, down the Red White and Blue Track to park at the junction with Water Res Track, where Greg joined us. The walk followed the RW&B Track and Dunn’s Track to the Dunn’s Reef mine site, with its spectacular open cut into the hillside. We then headed east off track for about 1 km to join Talbot Track, passing areas where DELWP has thinned the forest and domestic firewood was being collected. Talbot Track becomes Muckleford School Rd by a large farm dam, where we took Bell’s Lane Track to the Red White & Blue mine picnic area for a well earned morning tea. After checking out the deep mineshaft under the poppet head (from the Deborah United mine in Bendigo), we followed the RW&B Track back to the cars.
13 March 2019
|27 February 2019
What a great job Alan did for us at Fryerstown. 41 participants is a world record!! And coffee laid on from Melanie's Gaggia machine!! At the cemetery, however, one couldn't help but reflect on the last days of Elizabeth Smart and her tiny children: the field's frenzied clamour; the screams of babies and young children; the keening of desperate mothers; the shouts of angry drunks and men whose 3 metre square claims had been infringed; the smell of sewage and smoke and sweat. Bedlam. (P.S. The vaccination was for smallpox.) The walk was an excellent experience.
Thanks Alan for leading walk and Melanie for the coffee and cake at the Fryers Tea House.
|13 February 2019
Ajax Mine. 35 excited Bushwalkers joined the early morning 8am and 8 degrees start. Jules and Rex lead us on a tour around the Ajax mine not far from Campbells Creek. Jules and Rex really do know a lot about the hidden gems in and around Castlemaine. If you would like to see inside the mine go to this youtube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmIzuOz4tzU
Thanks Jules and Rex.
|January 30 2019
Castlemaine Well done to Gerry and his pacemakers for this morning's walk! It was certainly one for the CV. All finishers automatically qualify for front row seats should Red Faces ever make a return to TV. (Note to self: attach wheels to Esky before 13 February.)